Wednesday, March 31, 2010

BEAT fatigue

Fatigue might be the most common complaint among those with a serious illness. The fatigue resulting from chemotherapy and radiation is not the kind that can be alleviated by a good night's sleep. I wish I had a magic potion or pill that would pep you up and allow you to enjoy daily activities. While waiting for that invention you might try my suggestions to BEAT fatigue.
1. Breathe-- Deep cleansing breaths are invigorating. If you are able, try yoga or pilates--even if you are unable to do all of the movements you can do the deep breathing.
2. Eat some protein. The carbohydrates you crave will give you a temporary high
followed by a crash, but protein gives you sustained energy
3. Ask for help. When you don’t have the energy to get out with people, pick up the phone, call a friend, and ask for prayer.
4. Take Ten. Sit on your porch in the sunshine for ten minutes or better yet walk around your house, cove, or down the block. This provides a double whammy—fresh air and Vitamin D.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Share your Burden

I must admit that I am having difficulty blogging about cancer. It seems to me that I have said everything there is to say and that you all must be as sick of hearing about cancer as I am of talking about it.
Yet I realize that with the book sales and media publicity, we are reaching a different audience--people who are newly diagnosed and looking to us for encouragement and direction. They are in the middle of a raging sea and I want to help them stay afloat.
Therefore,I will try to blog more regularly even if the subject isn't cancer related.

Today's advice for the those starting out on the journey--join a support group. If your loved one is too ill to attend, go alone. Sharing your burden will lighten your load. I love Matthew 11:28,30. "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." But sometimes it helps to talk to "someone with skin" as my three-year-old grandson once said. Paradoxically, the times when you feel least like reaching out are the times you most need to.

I know there aren't many faith based support groups [www.faithsupportgroup.com] but most major cancer centers offer support of some kind. Contact me and I might be able to make some suggestions.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cancer's Shadow Lifted

In 2002, two small words changed our lives. "It's cancer." In 2010, two small words changed our lives again. "cancer free"

I didn't realize how accustomed I had become to living under cancer's shadow, until the cloud lifted and the light returned. For seven years, we didn't plan anything without considering Jim's health status. We couldn't make short range plans because we weren't sure how he might feel. We couldn't make long range plans because we weren't sure he'd be alive.

Now that he is no longer in treatment we aren't bound to the chemo schedule or tethered to the infusion pump. We are back among the living!

And yet, some things remain the same. Thankfully. The cancer school room taught me that none of us--however healthy we might be--can know what the future holds. Life is short, health is fleeting, and this morning's sunrise might be our last.

Cancer may not be finished with us, but for today, it is gone. And that's enough. THIS is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.